One one hand AIC Kijabe is a rural hospital built on the escarpment of the great Rift Valley, a bumpy 30+ minute drive from anywhere. On the other hand, at times it seems almost as if AIC Kijabe is at the center of the world.
A prime example is PEPFAR and the fight agains HIV/AIDS. Legislation by the past two presidents of the USA have direct effect on our work here in Kijabe. A team from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and CHAK (Christian Hospital Association of Kenya) recently visited Kijabe to perform a SIMS evaluation of programs. AIC Kijabe received scored a 94%, which means our lab and clinics are performing admirable work in providing HIV/AIDS care.
In addition to physical consequences of living with HIV, there are significant social and religious consequences in Kenya as attitudes toward those affected are displayed. A great study by NEPHAK outlines many of these issues:
Just over half of respondents had told their husband/wife/partner about their status (51.1%), and slightly less than half had told other adult family members (47.1%); while only (37.3%) of respondents reported disclosing their status to children in their family. This is a finding that was explored further with some respondents whose children they felt were of a sufficient age to know. Generally, apart from being conscious that disclosing their HIV status may place a burden on the child; they feared losing ‘respect’ from their children.
Respondents also reported being ex-communicated from the church and, in other instances, being segregated and isolated from community activities and initiatives after revealing their status.
Thus, as our teams at AIC Kijabe offer care to these patients, they not only care for the poor and vulnerable in body, but also in spirit (Matthew 5:3). Through anti-retroviral therapies and screenings provided through PEPFAR and CHAP (CHAK HIV/AIDS PROGRAM), we are able to provide treatment for free. And we are very proud to have a zero maternal-child transmission rate of HIV to children born at Kijabe hospital over the past three years. We thank our health care workers and partners from around the world as they help us offer this essential health care to God’s glory.
- As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR is supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for 7.7 million men, women, and children (of which, 4.5 million are receiving direct support and an additional 3.2 million are benefiting from essential technical support to partner countries).
- PEPFAR is now differentiating the type of support provided to beneficiaries, recognizing the greater share of investment made by financial collaboration countries to reach these results. We congratulate countries, including Botswana, Namibia, and the Republic of South Africa, for their expanded leadership in this regard.
- The majority of people that PEPFAR directly supports with antiretroviral treatment are in low-income countries.
- In Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 14.2 million pregnant women.
- For 749,313 of the women who tested positive for HIV, PEPFAR provided antiretroviral medications to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the virus. Due to PEPFAR support, 95 percent of these babies were born HIV-free (including 240,000 that would otherwise have been infected).
- Over the past two years, over 1.5 million HIV-positive pregnant women received prevention and treatment services to prevent mother-to-child transmission and improve maternal health.
- As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR has supported more than 6.5 million voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) procedures in Eastern and Southern Africa.
- In FY 2014, PEPFAR provided care and support for more than 5 million orphans and vulnerable children.
- In FY 2014, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 56.7 million people, providing a critical entry point to prevention, treatment and care.
- As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR is supporting training for more than 140,000 new health care workers in PEPFAR-supported countries to deliver HIV and other health services.